Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bleach in the Kitchen

One of the best tricks I have learned from working in restaurants is that bleach works miracles in the kitchen. In every kitchen I have worked in, we always had a fresh bucket of bleach and water with a few rags soaking in it at each station for surface sanitizing. As good as a water and bleach mixture is in a commercial kitchen, it works even better in the home kitchen. I always keep a strong 1/8- 1/4 solution of bleach to water in the type of heavy duty spray bottle you can get at Homer Depot or Costco. We have a cast iron/ceramic kitchen sink, which stains very easily. Just hit it with the bleach solution and it sparkles like new with a few minutes of soaking, really it's that easy. Spraying your cutting boards and counter tops will keep them completely germ free, without expensive antimicrobial soap. Bleach will also extend the life of your sponge 10 fold. I find that even if you rigorously rinse your kitchen sponge after washing pots and pans, it still gets stanky after a bit. But if you spray the bleach on it right before you put it away, it will stay fresh indefinitely. And BTW: Those European sponges that resemble dish towels? If you hit then with the bleach after you are done, one of them can last for months, replacing at least 4 rolls of paper towels. A few caveats though; Bleach cannot handle a lot of organic matter and still be an effective disinfectant, so wipe surfaces off before sanitizing them. Bleach and Ammonia don't mix. Bleach WILL bleach cloth, so be careful. One last tip. Bleach/Water works like VooDoo on tile grout stains.


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